Spiteless in Seattle
By Jim Caple
Page 2 columnist

News item: Mariners fans who wore "Yankees Suck" T-shirts to last weekend's three-game series in Seattle were told to take the shirts off, turn them inside out or leave the stadium. "This is about appropriate behavior," Mariners spokeswoman Rebecca Hale said. "We have a code of conduct, a policy for language on clothing and banners and signs. Our feeling was this was not promoting what we want."

Mariners fan
Mariners fans may paint their faces, but only with hypoallergenic water-color paints.
Seattle fans are the most supportive, tolerant and nurturing fans in baseball, and the Mariners will not waver in guaranteeing that the Safeco Field experience continues to be pleasant and rewarding for everyone. Henceforth, the club is initiating the following rules of conduct to make Safeco Field the Happiest Place on Earth:

  • Fans wearing shirts, caps, coats or other apparel with any blatantly offensive wording such as "Yankees Suck" will be forced to exchange the clothing for a simple white T-shirt with the non-judgmental slogan, "We respect the Yankees and their right to self-determination."

  • Due to security issues resulting from the Sept. 11 tragedies, fans may not bring in bottles, cans, packaged or non-packaged food of any sort, guns, weapons, explosives, jet fuel, ammonium nitrate, fertilizer, curry rated five-stars or higher for spiciness, sharp instruments, pens, pencils or paper (do we need to remind you of the hazards from paper cuts?). Pornographic material is also strictly forbidden, especially naked photos of Ichiro.

  • Fans will also be strip-searched and forced to undergo a personality profile, loyalty test and retina scan before entering the stadium. In addition to a ticket, fans must bring a government-issued photo ID, Social Security card and a list of the past 10 videos they rented from Blockbuster for admittance.

  • For everyone's enjoyment, the Mariners ask fans to dress appropriately. Jeans are acceptable only if freshly laundered with no tears, holes or frayed seams. Fans who are judged to be more than 20 pounds overweight may not wear shorts in the stadium. Men with excessive hair on their backs may not wear tanktops. Women must wear burqas at all times.

  • To avoid spurring potentially destructive feelings of nationalism, the national anthem will be replaced with the more inclusive "Kumbaya." This will not only be performed in sign language for the hearing impaired, but the lyrics will be distributed on Braille cards for fans who are deaf and blind.

  • When making a call, umpires will refrain from using the demeaning, "You're out," instead using the more affirming phrase, "That's all right, you'll get them next time."

  • The Mariners naturally encourage fans to cheer the home team but remind them that there are two teams on the field, and the opponents have mothers who love them, too, and families to provide for. The Mariners therefore ask fans to refrain from hurtful comments toward opponents (i.e., do not make fun of David Wells' weight) and to always root for tie games.

    Mariner Moose
    The Mariner Moose will encourage everyone to "Do your best" -- and under no circumstances lead partisan cheers for the Mariners.

  • The official team slogan is being changed from "Sodo Mojo" to "WoHeLo."

  • To promote a family environment, the use of foul language is not acceptable within a two-block radius of Safeco Field from three hours before the game until 90 minutes after the game. Any fans overheard using crude language will be immediately ejected. Two such ejections during a season will result in a lifetime ban. The Mariners, however, understand that there will be moments when fans become frustrated or disappointed. Acceptable words for these moments include, "darn," "drat," "shucks," "shoot," "golly," "geezo peezo" and, in extreme cases such as a playoff series with the Yankees, "fudge."

  • Because between-inning blooper tapes can be unnecessarily damaging to the players' psyches, they are being replaced by clips of Oprah interviewing Dr. Phil.

  • In order to avoid drunk and disorderly conduct, alcoholic beverages of any kind are not allowed in the stadium, except for sacramental wine, which can be purchased at the center-field concession stand between the bottom of the first inning and the top of the second. Fans may purchase caffeine-free diet soda, Sanka or enjoy the use of the water fountain up until the seventh inning.

  • The Mariners will continue distributing All-Star ballots but urge fans to vote for everyone, especially for those players who aren't very good, because this show of support may boost their confidence.

  • The lyrics to "Take Me Out to the Ballgame" are being altered slightly, from "Buy me some peanuts and Crackerjack," to "Buy me some tofu and other alternative foods that are not derived from animal products nor exploit the cruel treatment of animals nor contain unhealthy doses of sugar, chemicals, preservatives and other known carcinogens."

  • The Moose will no longer ask fans to chant, "Go, Mariners!" -- urging them instead to "Do your best!"

  • Fans who thoughtlessly leave the toilet seat up in the restrooms will be asked to leave.

  • And finally, win or lose, following the end of each game, the Mariners will gather outside their dugout and shout, "Two, four, six, eight, who do we appreciate -- the Yankees!"

    Enjoy the game!

    Jim Caple is a senior writer for ESPN.com. He can be reached at cuffscaple@hotmail.com



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